Chip cards suck. If you can get your chip card to work at Starbucks every single time without fail, then you are a liar or a wizard or both. Worse, like everything else that’s allegedly supposed to boost security, chip cards are not entirely 100% secure. I’m told there is a device that identity thieves use that will scan your credit card info stored on the RFID chip from a few feet away. Not sure how that works. Magic or Star Trek.
Being the average amount of paranoid, I decided I wanted one of those fancy wallets that will protect the RFID info from being stolen via gamma rays or whatever. A quick google search turned up diy instructions on how to make an RFID protecting wallet with duct tape and tinfoil.
Duct tape and tinfoil to prevent shadowy unknowns from stealing my identity? Count me in!
There’s probably some legitimate science to how this works, but I’m not big on “science” unless it’s followed by “fiction double feature” so let’s leave the explanations to the professionals and get to CRAFTING.
**I measured the wallet to be 8 x 3.5 inches, leaving room for a ¼ inch seam allowance. No idea what the “proper” measurement of a wallet is. Insert shrug emoji.
First, I made some RFID protecting duct tape tinfoil fabric by laying out a big square of tinfoil and covering it in a layer of duct tape. I cut out a 8 x 3.5 inch piece to line the wallet.
Here are the fabric pieces I used:
- 1 wallet outside, canvas (8 x 3.5)
- 2 wallet pocket lining, floral (8 x 3.5)
- 1 wallet inside, gold (8 x 3.5)
- 1 credit card pocket, floral (8 x 3)
- 1 credit card pocket lining, gold (8 x 3)
I used Cotton + Steel Solid mustardy gold for the wallet inside and credit card pocket lining, Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co. floral for the wallet pocket lining & credit card pocket (I love that fabric and wanted it to be the most visible), and a basic eggshelly white canvas from Joann’s for the outside.
**I also used two layers of stabilizer, one inside the wallet pocket and one in the credit card pocket, which made the wallet a little too bulky. I’d just use canvas or a lighter weight interfacing next time. (There won’t be a next time.)
I sewed the tops of the credit card pocket & credit card pocket lining together (with the stabilizer), then sewed the tops of the wallet inside & one of the wallet pocket lining pieces together (also with the stabilizer).
Then I basted the credit card pocket to the wallet inside on the left and right sides.
Next, I stitched a straight line through the middle of the credit card pocket to separate it into two pockets. I stitched two more lines, one on each side of the middle, to make the pockets the correct size for a credit card.
***You want these pockets to fit your credit cards snugly so that they don’t slip out. You can use an old gift card to measure as you sew, or you can do what I did and have to rip out multiple stitches because you keep “eyeballing” your measurements and getting inaccurate results. USE A DAMN RULER.
I folded the attached wallet pocket lining over the credit card pocket, so that all the right sides were facing each other, and sewed the left & right sides. Trimmed the seams, flipped it rightside out, and ironed the shit out of it.
I flipped it back inside out and sewed the bottom leaving a small opening near the center. Pulled the right side of the wallet piece through the opening and then sewed up the opening.
***If you’re a person who likes things to look “nice” and “not shitty” you might hand stitch the opening. Moi? Not so much.
Duct tape tinfoil as a fabric sucks. My first attempt at sewing the tinfoil to the outside wallet piece and then turning it outside in ended in a curse word and a waste of materials. Luckily it only took one fuck up to figure it out.
I sewed the second wallet lining piece to the wallet outside piece, right sides facing, along the top and sides. I ironed the bottom seam allowances up toward the wrong side of the fabric, then flipped the piece rightside out. (The seam allowances were tucked up inside the bottom opening.) I slipped the duct tape tinfoil in the opening.
At this point, I decided it would be cute to have a contrasting stitch all the way around the outside of the wallet.
I forgot one important detail: I can’t sew in a straight line for shit.
Regardless, I sewed the wallet inside to the wallet outside by placing the pieces so that the two wallet pocket linings faced each other, then sewing an outline around the entire wallet – taking care not to accidentally stitch the wallet pocket closed at the top. (Miraculous foresight on my part.)
I then realized I forgot to put any sort of closure on the wallet, so I hand stitched some velcro on the insides. It looks pretty terrible so I don’t have a photo of it.
Next time, I’d probably sew the wallet inside to the wallet pocket lining piece, then sew the wallet pocket lining piece to the wallet outside.
(Also next time, I’d probably label all the pieces A, B, C, D, E, and F so that I don’t have to keep confusing everyone with “wallet pocket piece” and “wallet pocket lining piece”. Sorry.)
By the time the wallet was finished, I didn’t even care about RFID theft anymore. Success!
If you, like me, are juuust paranoid enough to make an RFID protecting wallet, I’d love to see how much better your finished product looks than mine! Tag your pictures with #handcrapted or @ me on Twitter or Instagram.